Vital Statistics
Name: Christina Li
Mom: Peggy Li
Dad: Philip Li
Brother: Alex Li (3 years older)
Dogs: Angel and Chocolate Li
Hometown: Arcadia, CA
School: Arcadia High School (Class of 2005)
Things I Like to Do: Sleep, Piano, Ping-Pong, Bridge, Waste Time, Flute, Eat
Time Consuming Activities: Marching Band!, CYMO, Science Olympiad (not actually that time consuming...)
AIM: bookfan827


Wow, I haven't updated this in two years. Check out my blurb from summer of 2001.

Here's a little bit (or maybe a long bit) about my life up 'til now (i.e., August 2003) :
I was born in Pasadena in 1987 at the Huntington Memorial Hospital. I lived at 3625 Newhaven Dr. for three years (I don't remember much of it, or maybe none at all from that period of time, but I have lots of memories from later on when my grandparents lived there). Then we moved to Arcadia where we're still living today (something about better public schools so we wouldn't have to go to private schools all our lives). I went to Sunrise Preschool which in Pasadena and all I remember is snack time, and nap time, and the climbing thing in the playground, and I had two friends both named Peter. We also did a Christmas performance thing and I was a butterfly. :-) I still have my mask thing hanging in my room. Then I went to kindergarten at Baldwin Stocker. I actually tested to get into High Point Academy (in Pasadena, that's where my brother went before we moved), but my mom tells me that I didn't get in because I didn't have time to finish writing my name. :-)

Thus began my Baldwin Stocker years (Kindergarten-5th grade). Kindergarten, or as much as I can remember of it, was great. It's strange the things that your mind chooses to remember. I still remember how the room looks, I could visualize right now how everything was setup and where it all was. I remember practicing writing my name and painting the face on my Christina doll. I also remember falling off something and cutting my hand and bleeding all over the place (the scar is still there). During kindergarten, I also started going to Chinese school. I remember, since school got out at noon, my Chinese teacher would come pick me up and I would go to her house. She'd heated up my lunch in the microwave and after lunch I'd take a nap. Then she'd take me to Chinese school.

First through fifth grade are all grouped together in my mind. I actually remember a lot of things from that period of time but if I went into any detail, this would be way way way too long. It'll have to be highlights. First grade doesn't stand out at all in my memory. I remember that I really didn't like my teacher... I think I was more scared of her in first grade but then I had her for GATE later on and I really hated her. I started piano with Ms. Liu during first grade, too. Second and third grade were awesome. I had two teachers for both years kind of because they were trying out this new program with combination classes... I don't think it worked in the long run but I had a lot of fun. I liked punch ball a lot in third grade. I remember I didn't know how to play and I was scared to play with the third grade guys because they would kick my butt so I got all my second grade guy friends to teach me and it was cool. We played song flute in third grade, too. And I really got to know a lot of the friends I still spend time with now. Fourth grade was one of those years where I actually learned a tremendous amount. My teacher, Mrs. Shigemasa, taught me all the grammar I'll ever need to know. Well, maybe not quite, but I don't think I learned anything new in that respect throughout middle school. That's also when I started playing the flute in school. I realize now how much we sucked back then because we have a concert every year with all the schools in the district from elementary students on up and I cringe whenever I hear the absurdly flat clarinets and really sharp flutes. But it was lots of fun at the time. Fifth grade was a rather nondescript year. We "graduated" from elementary school and it was off to First Avenue Middle School.

First Ave. was probably one of the best times I've had in school. Elementary school was fun... but I didn't really learn anything and a lot of it I don't remember anyway. High school now just sucks. First Ave. was great. There were two teachers during middle school who inspired me and really made a difference in my life. The first was my band director for three years, Mr. Danielson (better known as Mr. D to all of us). I'm not sure what it was about him that made him so special. He was truly passionate about his work and about us. He always gave everything he had at every rehearsal which motivated us to do our best all the time. Then in the off time, he was just a great guy to be around, cracking his lame jokes, making rehearsals fun. Back in middle school, when people didn't pay attention in band and read magazines or something, I totally could not understand why anyone would do something like that. But now, it's different, concert band rehearsals can get pretty slow sometimes. I wasn't even one of Mr. D's favorites, yet I always wanted to do my best because of him.

The most awesome teacher I have ever had and probably one the best I ever will have was my 7th and 8th grade math teacher. Ms. Chaille was absolutely amazing. She was super-energetic all the time. She ran around the classroom from overhead to board to desk and back around again. She made math interesting and I learned so much from her. I feel truly lucky that I had her as a teacher. I think the mark of a good teacher is someone who inspires you to perform well because of their mere presence and their dedication to you. Without fail, she would grade every single quiz and test in one day and return to us the day afterwards. Even when she had given six sets of finals for three different classes the day before. In general I did really well in her class. I studied for every test even when I didn't need to. There was once when I did really badly on a quiz, I think I got a 'C' or a 'D', and I was embarrassed to look Ms. Chaille in the eye for a week because I was afraid she'd be disappointed in me. I

So, now I'm a student at Arcadia High School, soon to be a junior (as of August 11, 2003, who knows when I'll update this again?) Freshman and sophomore year have been completely uninteresting. I haven't had any great teachers and I've been getting progressively lazier. I think I'm forgetting how to work hard and study for tests. The only good things have been band, CYMO, and Science Olympiad. Band is one of those things that I don't know why I enjoy, I just do. It's a bit strange because if you asked me, "Why do you like band?" I really couldn't give you a straight answer. Everything about it, making music, the sense of accomplishment after a competition, the fellowship, the responsibility, and there's more to it but it's impossible to describe. It's not like I enjoy standing at attention in the grueling hot sun and sweating like crazy, or running the same set 15 times before we get right, or working with a very frustrating section that doesn't want to concentrate, or having to hold sectionals and rehearse for hours when I've got tons of homework. Yet, there's just something about band that makes it all worthwhile.

Freshman year was actually a lot of fun, if you leave out the school stuff. The best part was that my brother was a senior and I was really close to him and his friends, too. I always had a free ride if I needed to go places and Alex couldn't take me, it was great. Science Olympiad was awesome too because Alex and a whole group of his friends were members. I worked with Alex and Jason on Sounds of Music. Not only was it was fun, we worked hard, and we won! (always a good thing right?) CYMO was a really really great experience also because I spent all my time with the seniors since they were the only people I knew. My brother is an awesome guy. He used to keep me company when I had to stay up late doing homework and he'd make us scrambled eggs in the middle of the night. It's gets lonely now when I have to stay up because my parents go to sleep and the house is completely dark except for my room.

We took a trip to the National Youth Orchestra Festival in Florida in the summer after freshman year and I not only had fun but I gained a lot of experience and learned a lot from our coach, Leonne Buyse. I sat principal (for the first time) for the Bernstein West Side Story Symphonic Dances. It was so scary because there were a bunch of solos and everyone was depending on me to play them right. I'm glad I had that opportunity because I'm a lot more comfortable with solos now. After we got back from NYOF, my brother and I worked as ushers at the Hollywood Bowl. It was great; we worked on 1st prom, between the two areas of boxes; we'd never gotten seats that good when we went to listen. And since I'm under 16, I get off at 9 so I go back in and sit and listen. So not only do I get to listen to free concerts from great seats, I didn't even have to work half the time! Check out my Hollywood Bowl Notes.

Sophomore year in one word: sucked. I had no good teachers, I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I needed. I had a bunch of things to take care of: band section leader stuff, Science Olympiad captain stuff. My brother and all the seniors were gone. My English teacher was terrible and we had a ridiculous amount of homework for a very stupid class. I slept in French class every day (which isn't that bad I guess). The only good things were the friends I had that were involved in the same activities and classes I was, my fellow flute section leaders, Christina and Cindy, the senioritis stricken other SO captain, Hubert, my wonderful English project buddies, Rachel, Alanna (band too!), Vickie, Michelle (French), Ashley, Michele, Karen, Serena, Sophia, Sarah, David, and all my other friends who I wish I could have spent more time with, Sylvia, Diane, Emily, Eleanor, everybody.

Well, I guess there were a few cool things that happened. My brother was gone, but my cousin Jennifer came to visit almost every weekend and kept me company on Sunday when I never feel like doing anything. We would sit and vegetate in front of the TV or take naps. She also helped me with physics, which I was having more than a little bit of trouble getting. And counseled me to forget homework and play basketball and sleep. :-)
We marched in the 2003 Rose Parade. It was long! I remember turning the corner from Colorado onto Sierra Madre and thinking, "We're almost done!" only to see a sign held up by a spectator saying, "One mile to go!" It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience though (unless of course we get invited again before I graduate :-).
During spring break I went to visit my brother at Stanford for a week. I went to his classes with him and hung out with his friends. I had a blast!
Actually, I did have one teacher that I liked a lot (besides my band directors of course, they're always cool). My Development of Civilizations teacher, Mr. Fox, was a good teacher. Not quite inspiring, but he made me interested in the topics we studied and he always had insightful comments. I like his style (except for the seminars which were a bit lame) and I really respect him as a teacher.

This past summer, we took a two week tour through Italy and Greece. I've decided that I don't like the tour concept very much but Italy and Greece were great. After that, I went to SSP. It's amazing how much a mere six weeks can affect a person. It was an extraordinary experience (or as Victor might say: spiffy, corkin', groovy, spiff gnarly). Everything about it, the learning, the people, the atmosphere, the memories, will be something I'll cherish forever. I've been home for two and a half days now, and I can't stop thinking about it and the people and missing it like crazy. Check out my brief account of SSP 2003.

Well, that's all for now, folks! I'll be back in another three years! :-)